OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog

OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog

This story has been updated.

The Office of Personnel Management is offering buyouts and early retirement packages to hundreds of employees across the agency, according to a memorandum from Acting Director Elaine Kaplan.

OPM received approval to offer 299 buyouts and early outs to employees and will send individual emails to eligible workers on June 17, said Kaplan in the May 31 memo, obtained by Government Executive. OPM is using its flexibility to address a tight budget, Kaplan said, but the voluntary employee departures could have other consequences. The agency is offering 17 buyouts to employees in its retirement services division, the office responsible for processing retirement applications and clearing up the current backlog. The 17 buyouts are “limited to non-supervisory employees who are eligible for optional/regular retirement,” according to agency documents.

There are 955 employees in OPM’s retirement services division. Continue reading “OPM Buyouts Could Threaten Progress on Retirement Claims Backlog”

Unemployment Compensation for Furloughed Feds?

Unemployment Compensation for Furloughed Feds?

Some federal employees will take week-long furloughs in an attempt to collect unemployment insurance, according to a CNN report.

A union local in Philadelphia — an affiliate of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers — has negotiated with Navy officials to allow the bunched furloughs, rather than the one-day per week schedule outlined by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Navy employees would not qualify for unemployment in Pennsylvania if they still worked four days of the week, as recipients must earn less than $745 per seven-day period. “We will begin furloughs on July 8 at the rate of one furlough day per week for most personnel,” Hagel wrote in furlough notices that went out this week. Continue reading “Unemployment Compensation for Furloughed Feds?”

Furlough Watch: Agency-by-Agency Impacts of Sequestration

Furlough Watch: Agency-by-Agency Impacts of Sequestration

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  • (SEE ENTRIES IN RED FOR THOSE AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENTS NOT BEING FURLOUGHED)
Air traffic controllers will be among those furloughed.
Air traffic controllers will be among those furloughed. Mike Stewart/AP file photo

This report has been updated. 

Across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration are having have serious implications for federal workers, as mandatory unpaid furloughs planned for hundreds of thousands of employees begin to take effect. We have compiled a list of possible agency-by-agency plans and effects. We will update the list as more information becomes available. Please use the comment section below to let us know if you have additional information about your agency.

Agriculture Department: The department will not need to furlough food safety inspectors, due to the continuing resolution bill signed March 26.  An email sent by a senior official on April 24 to employees at the Farm Service Agency said that the stop-gap funding bill passed by Congress would prevent furloughs at the agency. And the Rural Development division might escape furloughs too, meaning the whole department could be in the clear Continue reading “Furlough Watch: Agency-by-Agency Impacts of Sequestration”

Defense Begins Delivering Furlough Notices

Defense Begins Delivering Furlough Notices

An aerial view of the Pentagon.
An aerial view of the Pentagon. Defense Department file photo

Defense Department civilians on Tuesday began to receive furlough notices informing them of mandatory unpaid days off beginning in early July and running through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The notices will be followed by a seven-day response period, during which employees can reply to officials regarding the proposed furloughs. A Defense spokeswoman told Government Executive that the notices were hand-delivered by supervisors “to the greatest extent possible,” but that mail and email would be used as possible options as well. She said furlough notices would be delivered to employees through June 5. Continue reading “Defense Begins Delivering Furlough Notices”

Broadcasting Board of Governors Offers Buyouts to Avoid Furloughs

Broadcasting Board of Governors Offers Buyouts to Avoid Furloughs

Dora Tang/Shutterstock.com

The Broadcasting Board of Governors has begun to offer agencywide buyouts as part of efforts to avoid mandatory unpaid leave.

“Buyouts are one of the ways we are working to avoid furloughs and absorb the budget cuts under sequestration,” said Tish King, a BBG spokeswoman.

The buyouts will be worth up to $25,000 and offered to government employees, though not to grantees. They will be presented to workers across the “whole spectrum” of the government side of operations, King told Government ExecutiveContinue reading “Broadcasting Board of Governors Offers Buyouts to Avoid Furloughs”